In 2018 A Federal Judge Believes Literacy Isn’t A Fundamental Right

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Now, the short version of this: last week Michigan federal judge, U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy III, dismissed a lawsuit demanding literacy rights for Detroit children.

Yes, children were essentially told that being able to read & write isn’t a right. Because that’s where we are now with our obligations to citizens. They are matters up for discussion.

Oh 2018, you continue to be the best worst year (for now). With each day that passes..rights, humanity, and policies are spat on.

I would like to quote judge Murphy before continuing:

the State’s alleged failure to provide literacy access to Plaintiffs fails to state an equal-protection claim on the basis of burdening a fundamental right.

He feels that Detroit failing to offer equality opportunity education isn’t a case of equal protection failure. If you read the 14th amendment, Detroit certainly did let kids down with its education infrastructure. However, given their history of issues, they’ve been letting kids down for quite sometime. Given the complexity and nuance involved, I honestly don’t know if it’s a simple yes you failed.

I’m not here today to discuss that persay. What I want to try to understand is the decision made and it’s message.

Why is literacy not a right that should be offered to all? Are we so displaced that we have to even question that? Did this judge forget he wouldn’t be a federal judge if not for literacy?

Think about all the times you have to read or write within a day. It’s daunting isn’t it? From work to leisure we require literacy for every thing. Imagine if you were illiterate right now. Do you know what life would be like? An entire multiverse of knowledge and experiences would be inaccessible to you. Forget job opportunities, you couldn’t even read a menu to order lunch. You couldn’t even read about politics, laws, and votes that directly effect your daily life.

How do you tell a child their dreams and goals in life aren’t a right. Now they are things someone can obtain if they are lucky enough? Or happen to live in the right city versus any city.

America is often lauded for having opportunities for all. Obviously, that has a few asterisks. Still, the least we can do is give people the ability to read and write. Then the least we can do is hold our school accountable. Help them get to the level they should, to help provide the services they were made to offer.

Certainly, the least we can do is ensure a child that they will b able to read and write.

But I’m left asking again, what’s next? If literacy isn’t a right for everyone, what other rights will they label as such?

After all, we live during times where rights and the humanity they encompass are stripped often.

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I bat for PoCs, marginalized, equality, inclusion & geekdom. I'm warming the bench until coach subs me in.

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